Vijender Singh is one of the most well known names in the Indian Boxing scenario. With his winning a Bronze medal in the Olympics in 2008, opened the routes of India to the global boxing scene. After Olympics fame, Vijender continued his spree of appropriating medals one after the other, and didn’t stop just there. He participated in three commonwealth games, where he won 2 silver medals and one bronze medal collectively. He also won a bronze and silver medal in Middleweight category in Asian Games in 2006 and 2010. In the year 2009, the International Boxing Association attributed him as the top-ranked boxer in the middle-weight category.
Vijender has been making news from the time he came into limelight back in 2008. He has come out as a youth icon in all these years, encouraging and motivating youngsters to take up boxing as a career option.
Being a youth icon, he has been judging television reality shows, other than acting in a Bollywood film called Fugly in 2014. Recently, the news that broke and left everyone surprised was his becoming a professional player, hence bidding adieu to amateur boxing. This decision means that, Vijender Singh will not be representing India in the Rio Olympics 2016. The National boxing coach, Gurbax Singh expressed shock on hearing this decision but at the same time said, “But he is an individual and he is free to decide his career. He must have thought something.”
Vijender Singh signed a promotional agreement of four years with UK based Queensberry Promotions and the IOS Sport and Entertainment of India. In the first year of these four years’ agreement, Vijender shall fight at a minimum of six times. He has shown his excitement over this agreement on his social media accounts. He has been retweeting the happiness of his fans over his decision.
On his involvement with UK based Queensberry Vijender said, “Professional boxing requires a whole new kind of approach. The infrastructure, coaching and medical facilities are extremely different from amateur and that’s why I thought signing up with Queensberry was a better idea.” According to him, India should also develop infrastructure for professional boxing, as this will give good exposure to the young boxers and inspire them to enhance their skills at the game.
I believe Vijender Singh has added onto his accomplishments by going professional. He has brought the Nation great laurels and has given an identity to Indian Boxing. It is his personal choice to take his talent to the other platform. The boxer insisted that he aims to make a mark at the international stage in boxing. He further added, “… I want to prove that Indian boxers can do well in pro boxing as well. It is still all about the nation.”
With a vision to be trained according to the “professional” boxing standards, Vijender understands his responsibilities well. His goal is to perform well and let India be identified as a new powerhouse in World Boxing. He will live in Manchester and train under the renowned trainer Lee Beard.
There are many differences between amateur boxing and professional boxing that he will have to incorporate in his current boxing style. For instance in amateur boxing, the fighters wear head protection and the bouts are shorter in duration than professional boxing. In professional boxing, there can be up to 12 rounds instead of 3 rounds of three minutes each that happen in amateur boxing. Vijender Singh will have to raise his endurance level in boxing which is required to catch up with this new structure that he is going to adapt.
I feel, we should not complain about Vijender Singh on his decision, because he has brought India a boost in the sporting arena all over the world in his career. His decision should be welcomed, as he wants to take his sport to a different level. It’s his individual choice, and he shouldn’t be pressurized to withdraw from it.
Gagandeep Singh Vaid
Image Source: The Viewspaper